ESG Integration Forum & Awards – Summer

Thursday, July 14, 2022

In-person and virtual: Venue to be announced, New York

About the forum & awards

Telling your ESG story

Following on from the success of our previous ESG Integration Forums, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary are back again this summer to discuss the outcomes of the proxy season and help companies respond to the growing demand for improved ESG practices. 

We will once again bring together investor relations, finance, sustainability, governance, risk and compliance experts to discuss the underlying factors that have driven the rise of ESG, learn about investor expectations, deepen shareholder engagement, help companies identify and act on material risks, and better manage shareholder proposals in the ‘new normal’.

The format, far removed from a traditional conference, will consist of fast-paced panel discussions, exclusive investor Q&A, face-to-face networking and topical roundtable discussions. Attendees will include investors, analysts, IR, governance and sustainability professionals at publicly listed companies from across North America.

Further details about the agenda, speakers and venue will be announced shortly. In the meantime, you can find out more about our newly launched awards by clicking here. Don’t forget to register your interest here to be the first to know when the full event details are announced.

We know things change. You are eligible for a full refund should you not be able to join us on the day. You can turn your ticket into a virtual pass, offer the pass to a colleague, put the booking towards a future event or get a full refund. Book with confidence and join us in person at this unique forum designed to help listed companies develop an integrated approach to responding to growing investor expectations in 2022!

 


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Awards categories

For our awards categories, individuals and companies are given the opportunity to submit written entries, free of charge, to be put forward to a panel of expert judges made up of investment professionals and IR Magazine editorial team members.

We are no longer accepting entries

We are no longer accepting entries for 2022. We will be in contact with those who submitted entries by the end of May.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] or call +44 (0)20 8004 5339.

Please note that categories are subject to change based on the final number of submissions received. Some categories may be split by market cap size.

Best board oversight of ESG

Best board oversight of ESG

Risk oversight is one of the board’s core responsibilities, and oversight of ESG-related risks requires boards to have the right governance practices. Boards need to oversee how ESG risks are being mitigated, consider how their company is telling its ESG story and ultimately seek related opportunities. Our judges will be looking for boards that demonstrate they take their role in overseeing ESG seriously and have put in place effective committee structures and board reporting processes. They will be looking for boards that actively discuss relevant ESG issues among directors as well as with investors and other stakeholders. Among other things, they will also be looking for board that go the extra mile to access the right information, expertise and experience from both directors and outside sources. This category is an opportunity to demonstrate that a board understands how the G of ESG intersects with the E and S and is taking serious and innovative steps to make that work. 

Best climate action award

Best climate action award

Over the past few years, climate change has rocketed to the top of the agenda. The race to net-zero requires commitment, investment, and innovation from listed companies. This category hopes to determine which companies are making a credible transition towards their climate action goals. We're looking for a clear, concise summary of why your organization deserves to win the best climate action award. Please outline your innovative decarbonization strategy. Let us know if you have a net-zero target in place, how the project has adapted over time to ensure continual improvement during the pandemic, key stakeholders' level of involvement, and how the climate action strategy aligns with the company's overall purpose. Judges are looking for publicly communicated climate action commitments, governance structure, and incentives, along with well-articulated reporting, disclosures, engagement, and communication practices.

Best diversity, equity and inclusion award

Best diversity, equity and inclusion award

What sets your company apart? We are looking for examples of a well-defined, innovative and data-driven DE&I strategy in this category. We're looking for an organization that recognizes the strategic value of diversity and inclusion across its business and reflects the community they serve. As part of your entry, you must demonstrate your organization's commitment to a culture of inclusion from clients to the board. Please provide examples of a well-rounded campaign including DE&I targets, review and reporting progress, data, disclosures, investments, investor communications, leadership actions, brand strategy, governance structure outlining incentives, and how it ties in with broader company purpose and values.

Best ESG by a senior management team

Best ESG by a senior management team

It starts at the top! In this category, we are looking for those chief executives and senior executives setting the standard for the industry with their exceptional contributions. These are successful (as demonstrated by their work) and inspiring leaders whose vision and commitment drive your company's ESG agenda forward. We're looking for executives who work together seamlessly to help the company stand out when articulating its ESG strategy; they go above and beyond in engaging investors and key shareholders with its vision. Please provide examples of management's approach to ESG initiatives, investor meetings, pandemic response, and the achieved results. Please also include feedback from investors, especially around proactively managing risks and addressing stakeholder concerns. Please provide us with details of your senior management for verification.

Best ESG communications

Best ESG communications

In a year where shareholders have been remote and felt distant, how have you worked creatively to keep them informed and engaged? We are looking for a results-driven digital campaign to effectively communicate your ESG story to investors and key stakeholders in this category. We're also looking for stand-alone or integrated ESG reports that tell the company's sustainability story in a concise, transparent, and innovative way that is easy to understand and engaging in addition to your overall multi-channel strategy. What were the tools and resources used, why were these methods chosen, and how did they effectively demonstrate the company's value? Please illustrate the success of your campaign by providing evidence of materiality, real relevance to business operations and how informative they were, backed by reliable reporting tools and frameworks. Please also indicate the graphics used, the wide range of content types used, what helped drive website traffic, feedback from investors, and so on. Judges would find the following valuable: your objectives, budget, external verification, innovative and inventive execution and evidence-based results. Please feel free to submit your top three video clips, press releases, social media posts, links to podcasts or performance data.

Best ESG engagement program

Best ESG engagement program

Continuous and transparent engagement about ESG risks and opportunities is the cornerstone of any ESG program. How are you working together with your shareholders to improve your ESG performance? We are looking for companies that have effectively shared information and knowledge with capital market participants during the proxy season and beyond. We are also looking for evidence about how companies have used engagement to test ESG policies, identify more efficient ESG targets and build better ESG management systems. Please demonstrate how you planned, executed and measured your engagement activities. How did you identify and prioritize key stakeholders? Did you engage your investors throughout the year? Have you set up an ESG or governance-related roadshow? How are you incorporating your ESG message into your regular engagements with investors?

Meredith Benton

Founder, Whistle Stop Capital

Eileen Kamerick

Non-executive director, Associated Banc-corp, ACV Auctions, Hochschild Mining, Legg Mason Closed End Funds

Ben Maiden

Editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary

Michael Passoff

CEO, Proxy Impact

Veena Ramani

Research director, FCLTGlobal

Tensie Whelan

Founder & director, NYU Stern School of Business’s Center for Sustainable Business

2022 Forum Themes

Key themes on the agenda this year include:

• Proxy season 2022: Learning from the latest AGM season
• How energy security, supply chain concerns and inflation has changed ESG priorities in 2022
• Addressing increased expectations on climate
• How human capital factors are changing sustainable investing
• Privacy, pay and politics in governance
• Preparing for effective oversight of ESG issues
• Where does ESG sit at your company?
• What are investor ESG expectations this year
• How to stay ahead of the curve on ESG disclosures
• Building and communicating an impactful ESG narrative
• Finding data-driven solutions to critical ESG issues

Agenda: 2021

We will announce details of the 2022 agenda shortly

All times displayed are in Eastern Time (ET)

View the 2021 PDF agenda here

 

  • 10:30 AM
    Welcome to the ESG Integration Forum – Summer 2021!

    Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine

  • 10:40 AM
    NEW: Research rockpiles – The latest stats and facts on ESG

    Ben Ashwell presents an overview of the latest IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary’s research on ESG.

    • Hear the latest research from the perspective of companies and investors
    • Track the ESG trends by understanding what has changed in the past 12-months
    • Take home facts and figures related to how your peers are approaching ESG

    Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine

  • 10:45 AM
    What have we learned about investor ESG expectations from this proxy season?

    In this session, we look to understand the type of ESG proposals and factors that are top of mind for shareholders, which issues are gathering support from investors and which ESG issues are likely to attract future proposals.

    • Learn about the ESG issues that should be top of mind for boards
    • Understand what funds are trying to accomplish in their proxy voting
    • Discover where the gap is between management and shareholders on ESG-related proposals
    • Discuss emerging trends like say-on-climate and whether it is likely to have an impact in the US in the future

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Matt DiGuiseppe, vice president of research & ESG, Diligent
    Manisha Singh, senior portfolio manager, AIG Funds

  • 11:15 AM
    ESG trend watch: International drivers and domestic policy

    The Biden administration seems intent on putting the US back in the driving seat on climate action and with Gary Gensler appointed as chair of the SEC, we discuss global drivers for ESG and whether the US is likely to follow suit.

    • Learn about the changes in policies globally and debate if they would fit in the US
    • Understand the impact and unintended consequences of increased ESG regulation
    • Debate whether ESG disclosure will become mandatory in the US and in what form it will take

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine
    Alex Gold, head of ESG and chief executive officer, BWD Strategic
    Neil Stewart, director of corporate outreach, Value Reporting Foundation
    Lizbeth Wright, vice president and chief counsel for corporate and securities, Eaton Corporation

  • 11:45 AM
    Meet the attendees: Networking

    Match with other attendees for a short, fun introduction using our virtual networking tool: it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
    1. Visit the networking area and click connect
    2. Get randomly matched with another attendee for a three-minute introduction
    3. Exchange contact information or move on to the next attendee: it’s up to you!

  • 12:00 PM
    Climate Change: What investors want

    Climate change has been the talk of the proxy season, but what exactly are investors’ expectations of companies regarding their approach to climate reporting and action?

    • Understand the top trends and critical issues related to climate change
    • Learn how companies can integrate climate considerations into their organizations and produce informative, decision-useful disclosures related to climate change
    • Hear about Wellington’s approach to climate change research, advocacy and integration into its engagement and investment processes

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Ari Frankel, managing director and head of ESG, Solebury Trout
    Chris Goolgasian, senior managing director and director of climate research, Wellington Management

  • 12:45 PM
    Roundtable discussion: Your ESG questions answered

    Join this unique and interactive session for an open discussion related to all aspects of ESG. This is an opportunity to share experiences, opinions and understand how your peers are approaching their own ESG programs.

  • 13:15 PM
    STREAM A: Getting started and managing ESG on a shoestring

    All ESG programs need to start somewhere and not everyone has the luxury of unlimited resources to dedicate to an ESG program. This session will focus on the steps you can take when starting or ramping up your ESG program and prioritizing efforts as a small or mid-cap issuer.

    • Understand what activities are needed to start creating an ESG story that resonates with investors
    • Discover which metrics and frameworks are most important to prioritize for an ESG program in its infancy
    • Learn how to get buy-in from management and the board on your ESG disclosure efforts

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine
    Andrea DeMarco, senior vice president of investor relations, corporate communications and ESG, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
    Eliza Riego, head of product and service innovation, TMX Group
    Hunter Wells, vice president of investor relations, Century Communities

  • 13:15 PM
    STREAM B: Strengthen the board’s relationship with ESG

    An increasing number of boards are setting public climate targets, and companies start linking executive compensation to ESG metrics. Join this session to learn how to manage the relationship that the board has with ESG.

    • Hear how teams have presented a forward-thinking strategy to their board to ensure buy-in from the top
    • Learn about the ESG metrics that companies link to executive compensation and how it has impacted decision making in the business
    • Understand how to approach public targets and ensure the board are comfortable committing to these targets

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Eileen Kamerick, non-executive director, ACV Auctions, Legg Mason Closed End Funds, AIG Funds, Associated Banc-corp and Hochschild Mining
    Chad Spitler, founder and chief executive officer, Third Economy

  • 13:45 PM
    How to use ESG to drive better stock performance and reduce your cost of capital

    Discuss the role ESG plays in improving financial performance and the impact it has depending on the stage of your ESG journey

    • Understand the drivers behind ESG’s ability to improve Return on Equity and cost of capital
    • Learn about the extent that financial performance is impacted depending on your level of reporting in comparison to peers
    • Discover whether leading, laggard, or improving companies benefit more from ESG reporting

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine
    Tensie Whelan, director, NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business
    Ulrich Atz, research fellow, NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business

  • 14:15 PM
    Meet the attendees: Networking

    Match with other attendees for a short, fun introduction using our virtual networking tool: it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

    1. Visit the networking area and click connect
    2. Get randomly matched with another attendee for a three-minute introduction
    3. Exchange contact information or move on to the next attendee: it’s up to you!
  • 14:30 PM
    Beyond the proxy: Mastering year-round ESG engagement

    Asset owners and asset managers have stepped up their approach to active ownership, and Covid-19 has changed the nature of communications between corporates and the capital markets. Engagement and communication with the buy-side and sell-side are critical to a well-run investor-facing ESG program, and this session will explore how companies can capitalize on the opportunities for increased engagement outside of the proxy season.

    • Discuss the benefits of continuous shareholder engagement around ESG issues
    • Learn how to get the balance right between achieving a continuous conversation on ESG with the markets and maximizing management’s time
    • Discover how to develop a proactive approach to off-season engagement to clarify what investors want from ESG information.

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Martin Jarzebowski, director of ESG and responsible investing, Federated Hermes
    Mei Ni Chu, director of investor relations, Voya Financial
    Joe Vicari, managing director and practice lead for communications and customer experience, Broadridge

  • 15:00 PM
    Shareholder ID and targeting ESG stakeholders

    We talk about the best way to find the investors that fit with your ESG profile and share how to communicate your data and story with those firms and indexes that are most relevant to you.

    • Debate what is more important: Narrative, data or ESG scores as capital markets and ESG continue to evolve
    • Understand the different collection methods that investment firms and indexes use and which qualities they look for in sustainable companies and learn where to focus your efforts
    • Discuss how best to identify investors and communicate your ESG risks and opportunities with them in a way that resonates with their efforts

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine
    Chad Reed, vice president, investor relations and ESG, Hannon Armstrong
    Maheen Sayeed, senior associate, IHS Markit

  • 15:30 PM
    Data gathering and prioritizing your efforts

    In this session, we will discuss the latest trends and share best practices on identifying, collecting, and disclosing material ESG information.

    • Understand the latest reporting trends and whether corporate reporting can evolve beyond the 10-K to enable better ESG disclosure
    • Learn how to identify material issues and improve your systems for collecting and disclosing relevant data
    • Turn data into action: Understand how to utilize your ESG data to mitigate risk and add value to your stakeholders

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Alexandra Deigman, head of investor relations, Lazard
    Jennifer Motles, chief sustainability officer, Philip Morris International

  • 16:00 PM
    Summary of discussions and end of the conference

    Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine

Speakers: 2021

To inquire about speaking at the 2022 forum, please contact [email protected] or call +44 7889 883 457


What our attendees say

"Timely topics; opportunity to network; opportunity to deep dive with a small group on a current ESG topic"

Medtronic

"I have been to a lot of these events and I have found the conversations to be richer and more insightful than many of the bigger panels - probably due to good moderation and good panelists. I was also impressed by how seamless the virtual format was. "

Anonymous

"Good speakers and breadth of experience - very topical"

Cantor Fitzgerald

"Great selection of panelists. I thought the platform was very user friendly."

Murphy USA

"Relevant content and solid speaker line-up"

Aecon Group

"The agenda was informative and fast-paced; the presenters were knowledgeable and engaging."

ExxonMobil

"Platform was great, sessions were short and impactful."

Anonymous

"The choice of topics were excellent. The credibility of the speakers and making the forum interactive kept me engaged.

"

ANSYS

Who attends our events

Our attendees are leading IR and GRC practitioners with an established track record and strategic role within their company.

Below is a sample of some of our past attendees:

Job title Company Job title Company
AVP strategy & sustainability Canadian Western Bank Head of investor relations, Americas Omron Corporation
CCO Edgewood Management Partner Fox Rothschild
CEO Curley Global IR President and CEO Sarmaya Capital Corp
CFO 5N Plus Senior associate, financial reporting Crescita Therapeutic
CFO Lithium Americas Senior director of corporate strategy and development Enviva
Chief citizenship officer California Water Service Senior investor relations analyst Pinterest
Chief legal and compliance officer and secretary II-VI Incorporated Senior investor relations analyst eHealth
Chief of staff Omni Logistics Senior investor relations analyst Opentext
Corporate compliance manager Huntington Ingalls Industries Senior investor relations representative American Financial Group
Corporate VP and chief of staff Huron Consulting Group Senior manager, ESG F5
Counsel, corporate and securities The Kraft Heinz Company Senior manager, investor relations & corporate communications Sarepta Therapeutics
DEI director PGE Strategic partner Metagnosis Consulting
Director Kraft Heinz SVP and head of shareholder services Citizens Financial Group
Director corporate responsibility Quest Diagnostics SVP, corporate secretary Kearny Bank
Director, corporate governance Exchange Bank of Canada SVP, general counsel Louisiana-Pacific Corporation
Director, EH&S Park Ohi SVP, investor relations JLL
Director, ESG & public policy Enbridge VP, capital markets & strategy Calfrac Well Services
Director, investor relations Brown-Forman VP, communications and IR Opiant
Director, IR, corporate communications and ESG Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings VP, corporate social responsibility Zillow Group
Director, research and thought leadership CPA Ontario VP, deputy general counsel & chief enterprise risk officer Clarios
Director, sustainability Micron Technology VP, financial planning reporting Avery Dennison
ESG advisor, investor relations Imperial Oil VP, general counsel Hawkins
EVP Rush Enterprises VP, investor relations Campbell
Executive director, IR and communications Urban Outfitters VP, Investor Relations Schnitzer Steel Industries
Head of corporate affairs Vanda Pharmaceuticals VP, IR and strategic business development PyroGenesis Canada

 

Request full past attendee list

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Partners

Become a partner

Why partner with us?

The ESG Integration Forum – Summer brings together some of the most influential people in the IR and GRC communities.

The event offers an effective approach to targeting clients when they are exploring how they can improve their IR and GRC practice. Through our unrivalled knowledge of the subject matters and commitment to in-depth agenda research, our events are guaranteed to attract a qualified audience.

The unique buzz we create at our virtual events – a far cry from a webinar – makes them multi-faceted and highly interactive with great engagement in particular from heads of IR and governance teams. This allows our partners to have meaningful conversations with corporates who are deciding which parts of their ESG program to invest in, which service providers to engage and consultants to retain. By partnering with us on an event, you can generate leads, showcase your thought leadership and position yourselves as the partner of choice to the IR and GRC communities.

We’d love to have a chat with you about how you can get in front of a truly engaged and motivated audience at the ESG Integration Forum – Summer. Get in touch with Ian Richman or call on +1 212 430 6865.

In the last 12 months, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary’s virtual events have attracted the highest, most diverse and senior attendees and experts in investor relations and governance

Covid-19 commitment

Before you attend

  • We ask that all attendees follow government guidance with the onset of any Covid-19 symptoms. If you are presenting symptoms of Covid-19, have been in close contact with anyone confirmed to have Covid-19, are required to quarantine due to travel, or are awaiting the results from a PCR test, we ask that you DO NOT attend the event until you are presented with a negative test result
  • We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to update our guidelines accordingly

At the venue

  • Upon arrival at the venue, we may request the following:
    • Proof of being fully vaccinated, with a second dose administered at least 14 days before the event date, with a recognized Covid-19 vaccine
    • If, for whatever reason, you are unable to provide evidence you have been vaccinated, you are asked to provide proof of a negative test
    • Your data will not be stored by us or the venue; proof can simply be shown to the organizers upon arrival
  • All attendees are expected to be considerate to those around them and respectful of the safety measures implemented by the organizers and the venue
  • We will continue to implement further efforts to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests, which will be shared with the attendees in advance of the event

If you have any questions about the measures in place, please contact [email protected] 

Book your place

The super early bird rates shown will expire on Friday, May 27, 2022. After this date the price will increase to the early bird rate of $295.

If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Gardiner at [email protected] or +44 20 8090 0556.

BOOK YOUR PLACE WITH CONFIDENCE

If you are unable to attend the event due to Covid-19 symptoms, a positive test result or travel restrictions, the following options will be available to you:

  • You can convert your ticket to a virtual pass and still get access to all of the forum sessions (networking and roundtable sessions are not available to virtual attendees)
  • You can transfer your pass to a colleague and they can attend in-person
  • You can transfer your booking to another IR Magazine or Corporate Secretary event taking place in 2022 or 2023
  • If none of the above options are suitable, you can obtain a full refund

If for any reason the organizers need to postpone the event, the following options will be available to you:

  • Your booking will be valid for the new event date
  • If you are unable to attend the rescheduled event, you can transfer your booking to another
  • IR Magazine or Corporate Secretary event taking place in 2022 or 2023
  • If none of the above options are suitable, you can obtain a full refund

Please note that IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary are not responsible for individual reimbursement of flights or accommodation arrangements in either of the above scenarios.

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